Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly, 1 March 1866, Nova Scotia Confederation with Canada.

[...] thing else they put their hands to, death followed their efforts. He hoped the present Government would act more consistently with their duties and interests.
Also a petition from Rev. John Shaw and a large number of others asking a special grant to make a road across Cape Smokey which, he said, was a mountain dividing the county into two sections. The members in their appropriations had not been able to give it the necessary attention, and the barrier formed by the mountain was so great that travellers were obliged to lead their horses on one side or the other which was a great inconvenience to the two large settlements growing up in that locality.
Mr. S. McDONNELL presented a petition from Chetticamp, asking the establishment of a ferry across Little River. He said that some individuals had hitherto been in the habit of crossing the river in a boat or scow without any remuneration.
Hon. PROV. SEC. laid on the table a return from the Halifax Poor's Asylum, which was referred to the Committee on Humane Institutions.
Mr. MCKAY presented a petition from the Postmaster of West River, asking for an increase of salary, but subsequently withdrew it for transmission to the Post Master General in accordance with the practice of last session.
Mr. COWIE presented a petition from an aged teacher. The petition was referred to the Committee on Education.
Also a petition from a person who had incurred expenditure on certain roads while holding the office of light-house keeper.
Mr. S. MCDONNELL presented a petition for an increase of salary of the Postmaster at Mabou, but the hon gentleman withdrew it for reference to the Postmaster-General.


Mr. ANNAND said that in anticipation of a discussion upon a highly important subject, he wished to ask the government to lay on the table a comparative Return showing the amount oi revenue derivable under a Canadian Tariff' for articles chargeable under such a tariff. He intimated that some difficulty might arise in furnishing an exact return, but it would be useful as furnishing information.
Hon. PROV SECRETARY said he was entirely ready to afford any information or submit any document in possession of the Government, but he did not understand that he was under any obligation to furnish such a return as that asked. The hon. member asking it had held the office of Financial Secretary and was as well acquainted with all the papers necessary to the compilation as any officer of the Government, and had them as entirely under his control. If such a course were adopted as that required the greatest obstructions would be occasioned. He would submit the request to his colleagues, but it appeared to him at the first blush to be asking for something outside of what it was usual or the government to furnish.
Mr. ANNAND said he differed from the Provincial Secretary in the remark made to the effect that the papers were as open to him as to the Government. He would remind the House that the papers had not been laid on the table, and no member, therefore, was in a position to prepare such a statement as the one asked for ; he did not see why the Government should shrink from furnishing such information.
Hon. PROV. SECRETARY said that one very serious objection had been thrown out by the hon. member himself when he intimated that there would be some difficulty in furnishing an accurate return, and that the answer must necessarily be hypothetical. The statement, if prepared, would admit of discussion as to whether it was correct and judicious, as the materials did not exist for giving an entire analysis. It was therefore throwing a scarcely legitimate duty upon the Government, and as to the observation that the necessary papers were not on the table, that difficulty would probably be removed on the following day when his colleague who had taken charge of the Financial Secretary's department would be prepared to submit the documents furnishing the necessary data. If such a return were furnished, instead of its being what a public document should be-so exact as to command confidence— a great deal of difference of opinion might arise upon its merits.
Mr. ANNAND replied, that no difficulty had been found in New Brunswick in furnishing this information, and he did not see why the Government should put itself in the position of being confessedly unable to submit documents which the Government of the other Province submitted without hesitation.
Mr. TOBIN enquired what the house had to do with the Canadian Tariff. If any gentleman was desirous of addressing the House or the public on the subject of Confederation, and thought he was in a position to draw an argument from that source with advantage, he could go to work and contrast the public documents and the revenue laws, the exportations and the consumptions, without applying to the Government. He did not rise for the purpose of objecting to the Government furnishiug the desired information, but he thought it a question which no Government should be bound to answer. This he considered the introduction of the question of a Union of British North America in an indirect manner, and if it were so understood and a discussion were to follow, he could not shrink from expressing the opinion he always held Every man looking at the condition of the British North American Provinces, must come to the conclusion, that they could not long remain in their present position. This was seen and felt in the House, where things had greatly changed in the progress of six or seven years. (Mr. Annand here rose to order.) Mr. Tobin continued, arguing that the object in making the request was to show that a Union with Canada would result in overtaxation, but would the Canadian Tariff be the tariff of the United Provinces? When the men representing all the Colonies met together, they would no doubt frame a new tariff with wisdom. If the Government chose to furnish the information and to employ their clerks in preparing this return it would be their own business, but he thought it could be done as well by any hon. member.
Tha subject then dropped.


Nova Scotia. The Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly. Halifax: Croshill and Bourinot, 1864-1867. Digitized by Canadiana.



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